Love and War

       ” Monseigneur Love ” by Thomas Cooper Gotch

Can you return with your memory three years back? Come with me… I was 19 years old – a teenager – I had my own beautiful dreams; they were safe and full of peace. Then the Israeli war on Gaza began. I was coming back from the exam at the university. The flames were going off behind me. I entered my house, thinking that an earthquake hit the city, the bombing and rockets in every direction. We ran to the windows to see what was happening. Oh, the whole city was burning, the glass in the windows of our house all fell, and like my heart… had broken.

I do not want to write about war; life does not stop and will not. I have written enough about the war,and I have already left the sadness and tears for the winter nights of war; and yes, my tears that mingled with the blood of the martyrs. I try to forget everything. I have written tens of stories about the war, published in newspapers and magazines. The question in my mind was: Does writing heal the wounds of war?

Later, I thought: Will I rip up memories of 23 days I’ve written, through 23 cold nights under fire and death and destruction? After the war, I’ve written a story, “Love and War” (in Arabic: الحب و الحرب) and published it in one of the well-known Palestinian magazines. I was the youngest writer they have ever known. The magazine sent to me a good number of dollars (by the way, this reminds me of Gabril Garcia Marquez).
I did not know what should I do with the money, so I gave them to my father as a gift! After a few days, the writers wrote to me about that story. I still remember how a journalist described it to me: You are the bomb, Kawther. I laughed and said to him, “Israel is the bomb, my dear.”

In short, the story involved a man who fled from the war to the shelters, where he fell in love with a woman. Because of her love, he felt like a coward who has no value in life. He spent a few days with love, having sex with that woman; all the while they talked about their memories before the war, discussed the catastrophes of war, and eventually the man decided to leave the shelter and go to war to fight the enemies and to defend peace. The man fled his woman, but promised her that he would return and have with her children that do not make war.

I have succeeded in my plastic surgery in my memory and in washing my heart of the tragedy of the war, I turned war into peace, coldness into warmth, hatred into love.. hunger into satiety.. and turned my heart into the big sky..

Now I’m writing this text, and feel love in my heart, I feel that if one day I should die, I will say ” Israel, do not kill us, please. Just get out of Palestine, we love life” ..
At this very moment, I am 21 years old, I want to write to habibi, where he enjoys peace, “love me, love me, love me.. much more.”

Written by: Kawther AbuHani.
Edited by: Dale Robers, California.

3 thoughts on “Love and War

  1. This is very beautiful Kawther and very healing. I think that you have managed to become a good surgeon indeed. "habibi" is the word for a man who is the object of one's affection, yes, a sweetheart? There is a magazine here dedicated to things Arabic with that title. Thank you for sharing some of your past here with us, deeply sad though it is. I don't know if talking about it helps. I think reframing it in the way that you have is very useful and imaginative. I am wondering if this fictional man in your story is really the European (habibi).xo,Noelle


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